This is a bit of a departure from my regular blog posts – touching on something personal for a change ;-). I haven’t been feeling well for some time now. I have high blood pressure and suffer from frequent migraines. And over the past four or five years I’ve put on more weight than I like – quite a bit more. So I was interested when my boss mentioned the new diet he had begun – and begun quite successfully, losing 16 pounds in about a month. After querying him about the plan my interest devolved into a detached, ‘good for you, that’s great’ level; for myself the regimen sounded way too strict! My boss didn’t proselytize about the diet, he wasn’t out to convert anyone he just wanted to lose weight and more importantly become healthier. And it was the talk about lowered cholesterol and blood pressure that made me decide to take a look for myself. So last week I purchased a Kindle copy of Eat to Live, by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. I read it in two days, two days during which I was suffering from a migraine and during which time I had tried on clothing at the Goodwill (hard to avoid mirrors in a dressing room) with an eye to adding to my ‘classroom’ wardrobe. I was feeling down and disheartened and my blood pressure was 146/96 (high). I was ready to make a change.
I won’t do the plan or book justice if I try and explain it in a blog post – I recommend you check it out of the library or head over to www.DrFuhrman.com to get all the details. There is a plethora of information packed into the book and it’s backed by scientific studies. Basically the Eat to Live plan isn’t so much a ‘diet’ as a change in your relationship with food. You don’t count calories or limit portions – instead you pack as much nutrition into every calorie you ingest as you can. That means empty calories have to go – that’s your junk food and candy. Foods with a lot of calories and limited nutrition have to go too, leaving you with foods that are low in calories and PACKED in nutrition. You’ve probably guessed that means leafy greens, veggies and beans make up most of your food intake. These foods have the highest nutrient density and the most fiber – both elements of a healthy diet. In addition the phytochemicals in leafy greens and veggies help to protect us against cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
The sometimes dense scientific and medical information in the book is broken up with multiple case studies highlighting the success stories of people who have tried this plan – people who have lost (and kept off) a great deal of weight, who’ve seen their high blood pressure or diabetes controlled by diet alone, people who no longer have insomnia, migraines, autoimmune disorders and more. It is compelling enough to me that I am embarking on the six week initial phase of the plan (started on Monday September 2) and I plan to take you along with me in weekly updates (so if after reading the book you are on the fence you can wait and see how I do). I promise I won’t leave out any of the tough stuff. Stay tuned!